Monday, January 16, 2017

Contemporary crime fiction based on a real life event - The Safe Word by Karen Long #contemporary #crime

I’ve visited Toronto five or six times since 2012 and I love it. Its inhabitants are friendly, unusually calm and liberal in their outlook and its streets are stylish and clean. I like the food, the shopping, the museums and the wildlife. I’m a huge fan: but does that qualify me, in any way, to set a series of contemporary crime fiction novels there? Probably not: so why do it? Surely, it would be easier and more authentic to set a novel where you are at least au fait with the landscape, customs, politics and dialogue of the area. Toronto forms the backdrop to my series mainly because I don’t know it very well.
I began the first novel ‘The Safe Word’ in a coffee shop on Queen St West. As I tucked into a panini and browsed a local newspaper I read a small article, written in a very matter-of-fact style, elaborating on an event that had taken place a few days earlier. Several concerned local residents had witnessed a woman being bundled into the back of a van and driven off. The plate number had been phoned into the police, who duly tracked the vehicle down and surrounded it on a small back street. Having approached cautiously the police liberated the woman, who was trussed up in the back, and made sure she was uninjured. Contrary to any reasonable expectation, the victim flew into a rage, accusing the police of ruining her sexy kidnapping Red Letter Day, much to their disbelief. This story, which was way too good not to use, formed the premise of my first novel, ‘The Safe Word’. I’d found the stimulus but needed a real sense - not just the tourist experience - of the city. So, I went off the beaten track. I toured the Herne, Tommy Thompson Park, Cherry Beach, several tranny clubs and drove around the city for hours. I listened to people talk, move, gesture and opine. Would any Torontonian recognise themselves, or the city, in any of my novels? I suspect not, but I’m writing crime fiction, not fact. All I really need is a street map, Wikipedia, a bunch of good memories and the commitment to turn these into a narrative. My aim is to capture a flavour of the city and use it as a theatre for my characters to play out their stories. However, having just completed book three in the Eleanor Raven series, I feel I have exhausted my geographical knowledge of the city and need another long break there to refresh this.
At least that’s what I told my travel companion.




There are rules that every player of every game must abide by, no matter how dangerous the sport.

Toronto has become the backdrop to a macabre set of artistic installations: women kidnapped, tortured and horrifically displayed by a killer with a vision.

Only someone capable of understanding the killer's creative desire will be able to stop the murders and D I Eleanor Raven is uniquely qualified. Driven by a complex personality she pursues only the facts, only the things she can see, but never casts a judgement.

But she also has a dark and dangerous secret - one that will threaten her very survival.

VAULT: A large room or chamber used for storage of valuables, especially an underground one…

In the unrelenting heat of the Toronto summer, a fire at a land-fill site uncovers the remains of a local prostitute. But the post-mortem reveals disturbing details –the body has been preserved and is not who or what it seems.

DI Eleanor Raven is back on duty six months after barely surviving being kidnapped and tortured by a depraved serial killer. Work is her sanctuary but she’s carrying deep scars – mental as well as physical. Where do you go when the place you feel safest is also the place where you are most at risk?
As Eleanor battles her own demons, it looks as though a killer in the city is making a gruesome human collection. And Eleanor’s fight to save the last victim of the Collector becomes a battle to save herself.

All author or review enquires please contact Karen Long’s Personal Assistant J.B. Johnston –

What’s up and coming on Victoria’s Pages of Romance

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12- Thursday  Thoughts  - #ThursThoughts
13- Friday Snippets  #FridaySnippets
14- My Sexy Saturday #MySexySaturday
15- Blog Available
16- Author Spotlight – Karen Long – The Safe Word
17- Author Spotlight – Petie McCarty - Mystery Angel Romance
18- Book Hooks #MFRWhooks #MFRWAuthor
19 – OtherWords  #ThursThoughts
20 - Friday Snippets  #FridaySnippets
21- My Sexy Saturday #MySexySaturday
22- Blog Available
23- Author Spotlight – Susanne Quill – The Order of the Crimson Lotus
24- Author Spotlight – Suz deMello – Rakes in Tartan
25- Book Hooks #MFRWhooks #MFRWAuthor
26- Thursday  Thoughts  - #ThursThoughts
27- Friday Snippets  #FridaySnippets 
28 – My Sexy Saturday #MySexySaturday
29 – Blog Available
30 – Author Spotlight – M.C.V. Eagan - Death of A Sculptor in Hue, Shape and Color
31 - Author Spotlight – Linn B Halton - A Little Luck, A Lot of Fate

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